I supposed to have something Big to announce today. Coincidentally, I just got a news from Airasia that they have also announced something BIG on yesterday, 14th October 2011, so I give way to them, since they are bigger, and let travelers to fly for FREE! Yes. You heard it right. By how? Let’s read on…
Airasia is introducing a new rewarding scheme called BIG, for travelers to earn points, or BIGGIES each time they spend on Airasia products or shop in one of the Visa accepting outlets, using the new BIG rewarding cum Prepaid Visa card. Once BIGGIES are accumulated up to a certain level, you can use these BIGGIES to actually redeem Airasia flight tickets for free!! The difference with BIG if compared with other reward point scheme is you can earn BIGGIES from whatever money you spend with your BIG prepaid VISA card in any of the 29 Million retailers accepting VISA card WORLDWIDE! What this means is once you top up your BIG prepaid VISA card with sufficient fund, you can charge your shopping in Malaysia as well as overseas to the card and earn BIGGIES! That’s fantastic!
How easy and how many points could one earn and redeem with BIG? I bet this is what most of us care about. No point if only little points could be earn but much more points needed for any redemption, right? Let’s take a look at some of the example given by Airasia.
1) Ways to Earn BIGGIE:
- Purchase and Airasia flights online and earn 1 BIGGIE for each RM4 spent. If you purchase top up items such as baggage, meals, seat etc. with your tickets, you can earn an additional BIGGIE, which means 2 BIGGIES for each RM4 spent. Sh*t! IF they introduced BIG much earlier, I could have earned 1800 BIGGIES already with my flights to Europe this year and last last! ;
- Purchase travel packages from GoHolidays and earn 1 BIGGIE with RM2 spent;
- Stay in one of the Tune Hotels and earn 1 BIGGIE with each RM2 spent;
- Booking one of the Lakehouse hotels in Cameron or Hardrock Hotel in Penang and earn 1,000 BIGGIES per each booking! Oh my! I could have earned another 1,000 from my visit to Cameron Highland recently!
- Earn BIGGIES from AVIS or Budget car renting worldwide (coming soon. No details on BIGGIES rewards yet)!
- Pay with your BIG Card and earn 2 BIGGIES for every RM 2 spent at over 29 Million VISA merchants worldwide.
2) How many BIGGIES required for free tickets to which destination:
- Redeem BIGGIES for free Airasia flights which starts from as low as 500 BIGGIES only! As what Airasia advertised on their website, 500 BIGGIES can let you fly to Singapore, Siem Reap or Jogyakarta FREE! It means I can fly to Siem Reap 3 times free with my Europe flight tickets!
- For 1,000 BIGGIES (which could be earn from 1 single return flight to London or Paris), you can redeem for a free ticket to Bangkok!
- For 5,000 BIGGIES, you can fly to Guangzhou, Macao, Bali or Ho Chi Minh for Free!
- For 15,000 BIGGIES, or equivalent to 25 average return Airasia Flights to Tianjin or Goldcoast, you get another flight to Goldcoast Free! I don’t understand the rationale behind in setting these BIGGIES requirement. If I convert these points into money, I should be paying 15 times more of the airfare to Bangkok for a flight to Goldcoast! And this is not true in actual! I paid RM200 for Bangkok flight and RM1,000 to Goldcoast, which is only 5 times in monetary terms!
- If you wish to fly to Melbourne, Tokyo, Seoul or New Zealand for free, you need 30,000 BIGGIES to redeem! It is ridiculous and not realistic! Forget about it
I always love to calculate how much a reward point is actually worth. Let’s estimate from the above table. If an average Airasia flight to Bangkok costs RM150, each BIGGIE should worth RM0.15 (simple mathematics by dividing RM150 with 5,000 BIGGIES) . With this same value of RM0.15 and multiply by 5,000, each flight to Bali should cost about RM750, and when multiplying by 15,000, each flight to Goldcoast should cost you RM2,250! No way!
So, unless Airasia is reviewing the BIG flight redemption table when it is really started on 11th Novemeber 2011 (11-11-11), I doubt this scheme is attractive enough for travelers who wish to redeem Free long haul AirasiaX flights to Europe, Australia or Japan. IMHO, this Airasia’s BIG reward scheme is rather for people who travel more on AirasiaX, like me, and able to gain extra bonus points to redeem for free intermediate short trips to cities nearby such as Bangkok, Bali or Siem Reap! Why not?
Of course, there are other stuffs you can redeem your BIGGIES for, such as travel packages, hotels, merchandise, gift vouchers and more. If you are already a member of Airasia, log on to register for a BIG card within this month (14th October to 13th November 2011) and you will can your first 250 BIGGIES free as a gift from Airasia.
Having said that, you have to make sure you fly enough each year to offset the annual fees of RM5, joining fees of RM10 and other charges applied. Check it out on Airasia’s tune2big.com for more information now! – Travel Feeder, your ultimate photo travel guide to Europe